Corn-Pone Opinions by Mark Twain. Explains the nature of political opinions better than a gigabyte of academic studies.
Isaiah’s Job by Albert J. Nock. Expands on Twain’s view, introduces the “remnant” , and offers a ray of hope.
Politics and the English Language by George Orwell. An essay on political language, a language “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Notes on “Camp” by Susan Sontag. An amazing essay on the intricacies of substance and style. Although it deals with the 1960s, mostly, there are connections to earlier times, and even to the medieval world’s biggest concern: particulars versus universals.
The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats. A pessimistic view, but eerily evocative of our present condition. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. A classic essay concerning the difference between just and unjust laws, and how to deal with the latter.